Getting Along – By Jennifer Black

A homeless couple has taken residence in the alley near my home. Every day they sit there together, talking of life and things, and I can hear all of it from my windows.

One day I was having a lot on my mind, and feeling overwhelmed at life, and I sat down and rested my head against the wall to take a breath. And she started singing, this girlfriend in the alley, and she had this most amazing angelic calling of a sounding. It was so beautiful and I was so moved. She made me feel better instantly.

I began to hear neighbors and business owners complain of these two people, and not in a very nice way, either. People do not want this couple living in this alley.

Every time I hear the complaints from outside my window, I think to myself, “If you could only stop and enjoy her song, you would rather thank them for being here.”

And I wish I could do something to make them feel more welcome.

What can I do to make this better?

How can I just let them go on living in this alley, yet how can I invite them to sleep in my home?

It is an issue in which I find little resolve.

Then one night my friend Aqua was at my house visiting. We were talking and laughing loudly as girls often do when they’re chatting, and the girlfriend in the alley started singing a Buffalo Springfield melody:

Stop Children

What’s that sound

Everybody look what’s going down

And the boyfriend sang this time with her.

There’s battle lines being drawn


Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong


Young people speakin their minds


Getting so much resistance far behind…

And my friend Aqua and I looked at each other and smiled, for it was a magical moment. She saw it like I did, a rare gift. And we quietly sang along with them.

Then she looked at me, in all of her awesomeness, and she said so innocently, “What if we played that song for them really loud out the window into the alley?”

And I shouted, “Yes! That’s exactly what we need to do!”

And so we did just that.

She hooked up her iPhone to my powerful speaker and adjusted it to play out the window, and turned it on so loud and just let the song go.

Soon, very soon, this couple got up out of their corner where they always huddle, and came right out in the open to enjoy the show, and there we all were together…these people in the alley, and inside was Aqua and me, and we were all happily singing the same song, as loud as can be. We were dancing and shouting and screaming, yes screaming, WE LOVE YOU and YOU ARE SO AWESOME and WE LOVE YOU TOO and THIS IS THE BEST DAY EVER and THANK YOU and THANK YOU!!!!!!!

While the beautiful singing woman stood there crying and smiling, and the very happy boyfriend stood there with arms open wide.

“It really touched me when the woman was brought to tears…crying and crying from what I took as being so happy to hear the music…something we all take for granted,” Aqua said, when I asked her what she remembered of that moment.

 

Then the song ended and they asked right away if we would play it again, just as children would, and so of course we did.

Paranoia strikes deep

Into your life it will creep

It starts when you’re always afraid

Step out of line the man come

And take you away

We better stop

Hey what’s that sound

Everybody look what’s going down

The song was written in 1966, in protest of strict curfew laws being imposed on the young club goers, to reduce traffic congestion building up around Sunset Boulevard.

And it quickly became a well-known anti-war song.

More people rejecting more people rejecting more people, and so on.

People always say that things are always changing, and I certainly do agree.

But it seems that some things are staying the same to me.

Why can’t we all just get along?

Mom would always say that, when us six kids would fight and misbehave.

And I think it is a really good question.

I think of it often when I ponder how I could help end all war and unite all people. I promise now to remember it more often, in my own life, because so far, that’s as wide as my reach goes, and this is what I have to take care with, and so it is.

My new mantra is this: We will all just get along!

And I will keep dancing and singing this song until I know what else to do for this.